Summary: We live in a world which lack integrity. In this world it is so important for the church to display integrity, but what is integrity? and ho can I display it in my own life?
“A Closer Look: Integrity”
We live in a world which lacks character and integrity and in a world like this the church does not stand out as a group of people who have integrity. As you look across the world you can see that it is integrity starved. From the White House to Hollywood, we have seen that America has very little integrity. What about us as the church? Where do we fall into the picture?
Documented in a book by James Patterson and Peter Kim, the Day America Told the Truth, (1991), Americans were asked: “What are you willing to do for $10,000,000?”
Would abandon their entire family (25%)
Would abandon their church (25%)
Would become prostitutes for a week or more (23%)
Would give up their American citizenships (16%)
Would leave their spouses (16%)
Would withhold testimony and let a murderer go free (10%)
Would kill a stranger (7%)
Would put their children up for adoption (3%)
Don’t you want to be a people of integrity like God calls us to be?
Integrity is who we are when no one else sees what we are doing. It is easy for us to come to church Sunday after Sunday and be religious and say and so religious things. It is easy to say, “Amen” and “brother”, but where there real difficulty lies is living out our faith day after day when we are all alone. Integrity shows us where our hearts are. It does no good to just act or play church. I believe that there are a lot of Christians who are just good actors. There are people who put on a show when they are around Christian people, but then they become just what the world is when they are in the world. Those people are just what Jesus called the Pharisees, whitewashed tombs who make the outside look good, but are dirty on the inside. Are you a whitewashed tomb? Are you putting on an act? I believe that there are some people in the church who are putting on the best performances of their lives. I hope that your faith is real and that you are not just playing Christian, but have truly been changed by the gospel and grace of Jesus. I hope that when you are away from the church and away from Christian people that you live a life of integrity.
In a world which is not concerned about the way that we live and how we live, we have more need to live a life of integrity. You may think that no one knows what you do sometimes and it does not hurt anyone so it is alright. Many people think that the only way that you sin is if others are hurt by it. The truth of the matter is that even if no one sees your sin, or the things that you do, God does. God sees all and we must give an account to him for everything that we do. God will one day expose all of our sin and bring it into light. We cannot hide sin from God and what more reason to live a life of integrity. Perhaps the world does not care what we do, but God does.
I hope that we all want to live lives that please God, not just in the sight of men, and to gain respect, but because we really want to please God.
Joseph is a great example of integrity in his life.
Text: Genesis 39:1-15
I. People of Integrity run from sin
The thing I love about Joseph was his desire to flee from sin. He ran away from sin at all costs. When you think about the situation that Joseph was in you see that no one would have known if he would he would have given in to the temptation. He wasn’t concerned about that fact, he was concerned because he knew that God would know about his sin and he didn’t want to sin against God. Don’t you want to live a life like Joseph’s?
It is so temptation to sin when you think that you may get away with it.
Four high school boys were late to their morning classes one day. They entered the classroom and solemnly told their teacher they were detained due to a flat tire. The sympathetic teacher smiled and told them it was too bad they were late because they had missed a test that morning. But she was willing to let them make it up. She gave them each a piece of paper and a pencil and sent them to four corners of the room. Then she told them they would pass if they could answer just one question:
Which tire was flat???
The truth of the matter is that we never get away with it. There are always consequences for our sins. Do you do your best to run from sin? Perhaps the sin that tempts you is not the same temptation that Joseph dealt with and ran from. A person of integrity does everything they can to avoid sin, because as the scriptures teach if we fear and love God we will hate evil and run from sin. There are many Christians who set themselves up in situations that make it easy for people to fall into sin. People so often don’t seem to mind to face temptation. I hope that we can all be like Joseph and run from sin so that we do not fall into that sin.